Reviewer of the Month (2023)

Posted On 2023-08-23 09:16:51

In 2023, AOJ reviewers continue to make outstanding contributions to the peer review process. They demonstrated professional effort and enthusiasm in their reviews and provided comments that genuinely help the authors to enhance their work.

Hereby, we would like to highlight some of our outstanding reviewers, with a brief interview of their thoughts and insights as a reviewer. Allow us to express our heartfelt gratitude for their tremendous effort and valuable contributions to the scientific process.

February, 2023
Melanie Narayanasamy, University of Nottingham, UK

March, 2023
Adam Grinberg, Umeå University, Sweden

April, 2023
Richard Buckley, Calgary General Hospital and Foothills Medical Center, Canada

June 2023
Nicholas N DePhillipo, Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center, Norway
Marc Prod'homme, Clinic La Source, Switzerland

July 2023
Francesco Bosco, University of Turin, Italy

September, 2023
Brian M. Osman, University of Miami Health System, USA

October, 2023
Kanon Jatuworapruk, Thammasat University, Thailand

November, 2023
Luigi Meccariello, AORN San Pio Hospital, Italy
Yasuhide Morioka, Shionogi & Co., Ltd., Japan

December, 2023
Jonathan D Hughes, University of Pittsburgh, USA

February, 2023

Melanie Narayanasamy

Melanie Narayanasamy is a health and health education researcher at the University of Nottingham, UK. Her main interest is people’s experiences of health, illness, health services, health education, and health interventions. Melanie is particularly interested in how these experiences can be used to improve health, well-being, and quality of life. Her research expertise spans the social sciences, health sciences, and medicine, using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. In recent years, Melanie’s research focus has been in the areas of mental health and bone health. She completed a Master’s Degree in Research Methods in 2009. She gained her PhD in 2014, which used a sociological perspective to investigate the decision-making behaviours of mental health professionals during multidisciplinary team meetings. This Grounded Theory study led to a new social theory around roles and identity. Melanie has numerous peer-reviewed academic and clinical publications and has contributed to national guidelines on workplace mental health strategies.

AOJ: What role does peer review play in science?

Melanie: Peer review is an integral part of ensuring a high standard of rigor, coherence, clarity, accuracy, conciseness, and relevance when reporting research. We can all appreciate how embedded we become in the familiarity of our own work, which is why peer reviewing allows the fresh and diverse lenses of experts from a range of backgrounds to assess scientific work before publication and dissemination. It can often result in the identification of elements in reporting that have been taken for granted by the authors, thus helping to improve the quality of the paper.

AOJ: What reviewers have to bear in mind while reviewing papers?

Melanie: As a reviewer, I try to consider what authors can realistically amend to improve the quality of their paper whilst also taking into account what is feasible within the realms of restricted word counts. It is important for the reviewer to discern between being constructive and pedantic and share in the authors’ desires to see their work published. Research can only make a difference if findings are appropriately disseminated. And this is based on high-quality reporting. This then facilitates the sharing of new knowledge and can be an impetus for additional research, and the translation of research findings into practice. Therefore, one can regard peer reviewing as an important part of this overall process of cultivating a culture where we strive to see research make a difference to those whom we are researching.

It is important to weigh commitments and assess whether you can commit the time and effort to perform a peer review. Use wisdom to help you discern what you can take on, and having read the abstract, if you feel that you have the expertise, fresh perspective, and insight to offer, it is something worth prioritising.

Another crucial consideration as a reviewer is to strive to be the reviewer you want your work to be assessed by! I find this helps to ensure that I convey my comments in the right tone so that authors can hopefully find help and motivation and improve the standard of their paper with certainty.

AOJ: Peer reviewing is often anonymous and non-profitable, what motivates you to do so?

I am a Christian, and the values that underpin my faith inspire my professional conduct as well as my personal life. One of the key teachings of Jesus Christ is to treat others how you wish to be treated. As I reflect on my own experiences of receiving peer reviews, I have been blessed by reviewers who have clearly undertaken the role with due diligence and offered comments that have been critically constructive and encouraging. Peer reviews have certainly helped me and my co-authors produce more scientifically sound papers, which then means we can have more confidence in disseminating our work further. Therefore, becoming a peer reviewer enables me to offer this support to other researchers whilst often remaining anonymous. Moreover, as long as I am a researcher who wishes to submit papers to be considered for publication, it is only right for me to regard undertaking peer reviews as both a professional and moral obligation on my part. Of course, care and wisdom do need to guide me in what I am able to take on amid other commitments.

Ultimately, whilst non-profitable, I do believe that the peer-reviewing process can be beneficial for the reviewer as well as those whose work is being reviewed. By serving as peer reviewers, we become more attuned to the review process and hone the skills that are integral to critically assessing research. This then hopefully reflects in our own work as we can implement the principles of high-quality research reporting in papers that we ourselves wish to see published.

(by Brad Li, Alisa Lu)

March, 2023

Adam Grinberg

Dr. Adam Grinberg, PhD, PT is a postdoc researcher at the Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation department, unit for Physiotherapy, Umeå University, Sweden. His research generally deals with sensorimotor function following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. Dr. Grinberg’s research involves biomechanical and neurophysiological aspects, with a current focus on re-injury fear and anxiety, and their reflection in kinematics, kinetics, electromyography and electrocortical dynamics. Other focus is on post-injury proprioception, its role in controlling functional movements and implications for post-injury neuroplasticity. Dr. Grinberg is also a lecturer in motor control and learning within sports context at the unit for Sport Medicine. In the past, he worked as a physiotherapist, mainly with musculoskeletal patients. He acted also a physiotherapist for a major league soccer team (youth division) as well as for an American football team. Connect with Dr. Grinberg on Twitter @grinberg_adam or LinkedIn.

AOJ: What role does peer review play in science?

Dr. Grinberg: The peer-review process is a requisite for content to count as scientific, rather than merely content. Science is made available globally for people to read, with the basic assumption of scientific rigor behind the text. This is ensured (or at least more likely to be achieved) through a rigorous peer-review process. Consequently, a reviewer should consider him/herself the gatekeeper for scientific outlets, which has the power to make sure that such rigor is assured. As such, they should be thorough in their review, do their own research when there are doubts and in general invest in their report. Moreover, in my opinion, a good reviewer should help the authors improve their work by suggesting how to improve, rather than just pointing out problems. Prescriptive feedback is often better than descriptive feedback.

AOJ: What do you consider as an objective review? How do you make sure your review is objective?

Dr. Grinberg: A review should be based on the content of the paper, without any impact of other factors which have the potential to affect a reviewer’s judgment. Two examples are: familiarity with the authors (positively or negatively) and strong opinions on the topic of research which can create a particular bias. Complete objectivity is sometimes not achieved by many. Is this enough to taint a review? Probably not. However, it is a slippery slope.

AOJ: Is it important for authors to disclose Conflict of Interest (COI)? To what extent would a COI influence a research?

Dr. Grinberg: COIs should of course be reported. For example, financial support from an external party might create a bias if said party has stakes in the study results. Consequently, just reporting a COI is not enough. Measures to address it should also be mentioned, or otherwise, an explanation as to why this COI is scientifically acceptable.

(By Lareina Lim, Brad Li)

April, 2023

Richard Buckley

Dr. Richard Buckley served as the orthopedic traumatologist at Calgary General Hospital and Foothills Medical Center from July 1990 to 2021. He was the clinical professor of Orthopedic Trauma Surgery at University of Calgary in 2009. He was Member of local Trauma Committee for more than 20 years at the University of Calgary, Senator at the University of Calgary from 2016 to 2021, Member of University of Calgary Senate Selection committee from 2018 to 2021. He is also Member of other provincial Boards including the Rundle College Foundation, University of Calgary Dinosaur Fifth Quarter, Alberta Champions. He has given more than 700 national and international guest lectureships, organized more than 65 national and international Orthopedic Trauma conferences including Chair of 41 International AO courses and lecturer in 95 international AO courses and taught medical school students, orthopedic residents/ AO orthopedic trauma fellows for more than 35 years. In 2018, he won Award for Surgical Resident Mentorship at University of Calgary. He is the reviewer and assistant editor on more than ten journals including Injury, BJJ, JOT, JBJS, CORR, Euro J F and A, JOS, BMC, CJS, OTAI, and others.

Dr. Buckley thinks that peer review plays a vital role in science. One person’s view of the world always needs a moderating look by others. Science has it right that peer review will help any product to make it better, correct mistakes, make it easier to read and also reject inferior products. He reckons the reviewers should be honest and gentle, be critical but helpful, and show wisdom and help those junior, which should be borne in mind when they conduct peer review.

(By Lareina Lim, Brad Li)

June 2023

Nicholas N DePhillipo

Dr. Nicholas DePhillipo is a clinician/scientist who has specialized training in the field of orthopedics sports medicine. He currently serves as Research Associate within the Dodge Lab at the University of Pennsylvania, USA and COO of Mechano Therapeutics. Under the mentorship of Lars Engebretsen, MD, PhD, he completed his PhD thesis on “Meniscal Ramp Lesions in ACL Injuries” and received the BJSM PhD Academy Award for his team’s work. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training, and two master’s degrees in Exercise Physiology and Business Administration. He completed a fellowship in orthopedic surgery at The Steadman Clinic (Vail, CO, USA) and previously worked as a Physician Extender to Robert F. LaPrade, MD, PhD. There he acted as first assistant in the operating room for > 2000 orthopedic surgeries and published >100 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. DePhillipo’s current research interests include cartilage repair, drug delivery, meniscal pathology and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Connect with Dr. DePhillipo through ResearchGate and LinkedIn.

From Dr. DePhillipo’s point of view, peer review is an essential part of the scientific process as it helps to ensure scientific integrity, and assesses the significance and novelty of the proposed research. High-quality peer review is important to protect the accuracy of the research prior to publication, validate the research findings within the scientific community, and help build trust between scientists and the public (as applicable).

While peer review is currently an imperfect system, it is still a necessary part of the scientific process. Dr. DePhillipo states that bias is an inherent limitation. Overcoming this is challenging, but can be improved through recruiting and securing highly qualified peer reviewers. To him, peer reviews can be very time-consuming for reviewers with little to no incentive, which is also a limitation of the existing system. Journals and publishing companies, especially open access journals with article processing fees, can help improve this by offering future publishing discounts to reviewers and compensating expert clinicians and scientists for their time conducting a high-quality review. Another issue is the time it takes from submission to acceptance and publication of research articles. This can be improved again through some sort of compensation incentives for reviewers, but also requires well operating staff at the journal and publishing companies. He adds, “Biases are nearly inevitable in peer review. Minimization of biases can come from having multiple (at least 3) peer reviewers with different backgrounds and credentials, and having the journal editors distill all recommendations from the reviewers in a best effort to make an objective decision.”

I would like to thank all current peer reviewers for their contributions to advancing scientific knowledge and encourage them to continue to support initiatives that improve the peer-review process such as simplifying the review process, reducing the time for peer review, and providing incentive compensation for reviewers from journals and publishing companies.” says Dr. DePhillipo.

(By Wei-En Fan, Brad Li)

Marc Prod'homme

Dr. Marc Prod’Homme finished his medical education at Paris University in France. He graduated in 2011 and began his surgical training at the Hospital Center of Luxembourg, where he discovered pediatric spine and trauma which encouraged him to pursue an orthopedic surgery education. In this purpose, he went to Switzerland and did the last year of postgraduate education at the University Hospital of Grenoble, France. He has been board-certified as an orthopedic surgeon since 2020. He performed a fellowship in spine surgery, especially in robotic and navigation, at the Neuro Orthopedic Center of the Clinic La Source in Lausanne, Switzerland, between 2019 and 2023, before an independent private practice activity. His current project is to promote endoscopic spine surgery at the clinic.He has been the reviewer of multiple journals, including AOJ, since 2018, and has written several publications with focus on orthopedics, trauma, spine and radiation exposure. Connect with Dr. Prod'homme through LinkedIn.

From Dr. Prod'homme’s point of view, a healthy peer-review system should have multiple reviewers’ analysis on one manuscript and each reviewer should provide detailed comments. He believes that a good reviewer should read each paper thoroughly and provide adequate comments to it.

Peer reviewing is often anonymous and non-profitable. Nevertheless, Dr. Prod'homme’s scientific interest of the manuscripts’ content and eagerness to be a part of the improvement of scientific knowledge by helping colleagues with their research motivate him to be a part of the reviewing system.

In addition, from a reviewer’s point of view, Dr. Prod'homme thinks it is important for authors to disclose Conflicts of Interest (COI) for every research. He explains, “COI may lead to potential bias and decrease the quality of the review because of potential influence on research results and implications. The worst situation would be the refusal of publication by the journals because of potential financial consequences in case of publication of the reviewed manuscript. Disclosing COI may limit a part of this influence and inform readers to consider results and conclusions differently, but with transparency, giving adequate message of the research in case of COI.

(By Wei-En Fan, Brad Li)

July 2023

Francesco Bosco

Dr. Francesco Bosco works as a medical doctor of Orthopaedic and Traumatology at the Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, in Ospedale San Giovanni Bosco, Turin, Italy. He is also affiliated with the University of Turin. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Orthopaedics (ISSN 2773-157X) (Elsevier), the Journal of Orthopaedic Reports (ISSN 0972-978X) (Elsevier), and the BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders (ISSN 1471-2474) (Springer Nature). Since 2022, he has published 20 papers in scientific journals indexed in PubMed, Medline, Scopus, Embase, Web of Sciences, and other databases of international relevance. Meanwhile, he has performed more than 80 reviews as a reviewer. He is planning to undertake a Ph.D. program in the use of robotics in TKA to investigate some aspects of this innovative surgical technique that has been gaining popularity in recent years. Dr. Bosco comes with his skills and expertise in Knee Surgery, Knee Injuries, Knee Arthroscopy, Knee Arthroplasty, Fracture, Hip and Knee Arthroplasty, Orthopedics, Trauma Surgery and Biomechanics. Learn more about him from Web of Science (Researcher ID: ADD-3848-2022) or ORCID. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

With his rich experience in conducting peer review, Dr. Bosco thinks peer review is the backbone of scientific validation, which ensures the quality and credibility of research. He shares, “It involves independent experts evaluating a study's methodology, findings, and significance before publication, fostering accuracy and maintaining high standards in the scientific community.”

In the process of reviewing a paper, reviewers, according to Dr. Bosco, must meticulously assess the paper's methodology, results, and conclusions to ensure scientific rigor. “We should provide constructive feedback on clarity, significance, and ethical considerations, maintaining objectivity and promoting the advancement of knowledge in our field,” says he.

Data sharing is prevalent in scientific writing in recent years. Dr. Bosco agrees it is crucial for authors to do so as sharing of data promotes transparency, reproducibility, and collaboration in research. It also allows other researchers to validate findings, explore new questions, and build upon existing work, ultimately advancing the collective knowledge and accelerating scientific progress.

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

September, 2023

Brian M. Osman

Dr. Brian Osman graduated from Drexel College of Medicine, Philadelphia in 2008 and completed his Anaesthesiology residency in 2012 at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, FL and then went on to complete a fellowship in Acute Pain & Regional Anaesthesia. He worked as an Instructor in Anaesthesia at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, Harvard Medical School before returning to the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in 2014. He is currently the Chief of Orthopaedic Anaesthesia and the Director of Quality Assurance at UHealth Tower in the University of Miami Health System. Dr. Osman is an Associate Professor of Anaesthesiology in the Department of Anaesthesiology, Perioperative Medicine, and Pain Management at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. He is currently a committee member for Society of Ambulatory Anaesthesia (SAMBA) Office-Based Anaesthesia Committee. His research interests include safety in office-based anaesthesia, orthopaedic anaesthesia, and acute pain and regional anaesthesia.

Dr. Osman reckons that peer review provides accountability for published materials and provides a pathway for clinicians and scientists to build on solid foundations of knowledge.

Speaking of the limitations of the existing peer-review system, Dr. Osman thinks that the largest issue facing peer review today is the shortage of reviewers. Peer-review can be a labor-intensive project and the reviewers may have many hours of uncompensated work. He adds, “I think performing as a reviewer should be required by anyone publishing in a scientific journal. It’s a way to “pay it forward” so to speak.

Even though peer reviewing is often anonymous, Dr. Osman takes great pride in advancing science and utilizing his areas of expertise to help his colleagues advance their research efforts.

As a reviewer, Dr. Osman believes that reporting guidelines (e.g., STROBE and CONSORT) are in place to set the standards for research trial’s (specifically RCTs) design, analysis, and the interpretation of the results. They are in place to stress the importance of reporting results correctly and maintain their validity.

(By Lareina Lim, Brad Li)

October, 2023

Kanon Jatuworapruk

Dr Kanon Jatuworapruk is a rheumatologist at the Faculty of Medicine, Thammasat University, Thailand. He is passionate about providing care for people living with arthritis, especially gout. His recent researches focus on the epidemiology, prediction and impact of gout flare. Dr Jatuworapruk has recently completed his PhD from the University of Otago, where he developed clinical prediction rule for gout flare in hospitalized patients. He is a member of G-CAN (Gout, Hyperuricemia and Crystal-Associated Disease Network), APLAR crystal-induced arthritis special interest group, and Thai Rheumatism Association. Learn more about him here.

According to Dr. Jatuworapruk, peer reviewers should be transparent about their expertise and potential conflict of interest. Special focus should be given to the manuscript rationale and methodology because these are the foundation on which the results and their interpretations are built.

Though the burden of being a doctor is heavy, Dr. Jatuworapruk does peer review when he is between major tasks or projects. Peer review is a good intellectual exercise that keeps him up to date in his field. “Peer review is the backbone of scientific publishing by keeping the literature robust and moving forward. For individual scientist, peer review is a good opportunity to hone your skills as an investigator and writer,” says he.

Data sharing is prevalent in scientific writing. Dr. Jatuworapruk indicates that when appropriate, data should be open or at least available for review to ensure the repeatability of the experiment.

(By Lareina Lim, Brad Li)

November, 2023

Luigi Meccariello

Dr. Luigi Meccariello is an orthopedic traumatologist who works in the Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Benevento, Italy. His areas of interest beyond clinical research are traumatology, malunion surgery, non-union surgery, infection surgery, and prosthetic surgery. He practices regenerative medicine on the other hand. At the moment, Dr. Meccariello has published 85 papers on PubMed and 94 on Scopus. He is a reviewer of many scientific reviews and he is a member of one of the SICOT commissions. He has translated one of the Chapters of the "AO Principles for the treatment of fractures" into the Italian Version, and he has won various national awards and research grants. Learn more about him here.

In Dr. Meccariello’s opinion, a constructive review is to suggest to the authors how to improve the communication and exaltation of the data they propose. A destructive review is one where the reviewers attack the authors based on minor quibbles and imperfections or errors reported in the text or research methodology.

Peer review is often anonymous and unprofitable, according to Dr. Meccariello, and it must be so to have the freedom to judge without bias or conflicts of interest. To him, reviewing an article means studying and improving one’s knowledge.

Dr. Meccariello thinks that data sharing is important but it must be in the texts. Compulsory sharing of raw data is not necessary in his opinion because when a research is presented the privacy of those who participate must also be protected.

(by Lareina Lim, Brad Li)

Yasuhide Morioka

Yasuhide Morioka, Ph.D., works in the Medical Affairs Department at Shionogi & Co., Ltd. in Japan. He is currently involved in establishing clinical evidence and conducting educational activities through the publication of papers related to pain using opioids. He obtained his PhD from Kyoto Institute of Technology in 2001 and has conducted research as a Research Fellow at UCSD School of Medicine. He has been a member of Shionogi Pharmaceutical Research Institute for more than 20 years, conducting research on novel drugs and targets related to osteoarthritis pain in vitro and in vivo using animal models. He has particularly focused on the construction of animal models for osteoarthritis and has published research findings on peripheral nerve and immune cells. He has contributed to translate the part of Japanese version of Joint pain chapter for International Association for the Study of Pain. His research has been awarded by Japan Society of Pain Clinicians and Japanese Association for the Study of Pain, and he is a member of the Japanese Association for the Study of Pain. Learn more about him here.

There has been an increase in the number of journals and papers, and a shortage of reviewers has become a problem according to Dr. Morioka. Additionally, there has been a rise in low-quality papers being published without proper review. Requiring the disclosure of reviewer names may enhance accountability. Furthermore, while peer review is essential for research, evaluating the quality of the review process itself is also important.

Expertise in the specific field is indeed essential. Dr. Morioka thinks that the ability to provide critical comments to the authors is necessary. Reviewers with deep knowledge and understanding of the subject matter are better equipped to evaluate the methodology, interpretation of results, and overall quality of the research. Their expertise allows for more accurate and insightful feedback, which contributes to maintaining the standards and integrity of the scientific literature.

Dr. Morioka indicates that Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval is indeed ethically mandatory, not only for clinical research but also for non-clinical research. It contributes to reducing the number of animals used in experiments. Although there are guidelines, such as the ARRIVE guidelines, for animal research, it is unfortunate that there are many cases where research is conducted without following these guidelines. It is important for both reviewers and journal editors to check compliance with these guidelines and ensure that ethical considerations are properly addressed in research publications.

(by Lareina Lim, Brad Li)

December, 2023

Jonathan D Hughes

Dr. Jonathan D. Hughes, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh and team physician for the University of Pittsburgh football team. He specializes in the care of athletes as well as complex knee and shoulder surgery, with a specific focus on shoulder and knee arthroscopy, shoulder arthroplasty, and complex reconstructive and open surgery of the shoulder and knee. He is a graduate of the University of Texas Health San Antonio Medical School and completed his orthopaedic surgery residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at the Baylor Scott and White Residency Program in Temple, Texas, as a well as a Sports Medicine fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Hughes is an active committee member of AAOS, AOSSM, ASES, and ISAKOS. He has published more than 100 papers, abstracts, and book chapters related to clinical and basic science research on rotatory knee instability, knee meniscus pathology, knee malalignment, shoulder instability, rotator cuff pathology, shoulder arthroplasty, and complex shoulder and knee conditions, and regularly presents his research at international and national meetings. He is actively involved in medical school, residency and fellowship education at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also currently working on his PhD through the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg on the relationship of surgical technique and bony morphology on ACL failure. Connect with him on Twitter @JonathanDHughe1.

In Dr. Hughes’s opinion, quality research is extremely important to advance their field and improve patient and surgical outcomes. Peer reviewing allows him the ability to filter through current research as well as keeps him up to date on new and innovative techniques though it is often anonymous and non-profitable.

According to Dr. Hughes, a healthy peer-review system is one that is truly anonymous with unbiased reviews. Part of this means employing quality reviewers with the training and background to critically evaluate study methodology and results. Ideally, there needs to be a system in which new reviewers are provided education and training on identifying high-quality research with appropriate methodology, statistical analysis, and synthesis of findings.

(By Lareina Lim, Brad Li)